So everyone asks me “How on earth do you pack for a year of travel?”. We’ve spent the better part of the last four months reading blogs, asking advice and researching bags to come up with a solution that works for us. It’s kind of like having your first baby. There are books, opinions and advice that range so widely that ultimately you just have to go with your gut as to what works for you.
So here is what we have done. I’m sure we’ll be cursing many of these choices along the way but I’m pleased so far with the first stab at it!
Clothing. We have packed about 10-12 days of clothes. Since we are generally following sunny weather around the world we don’t have huge ranges in temperature and only have a few layering options we need to consider. Clothing best fits into e-bag packing cubes which separate and keep items organized. It is like having drawers in your suitcase. I also LOVE compression bags. Especially for sweaters, big items and laundry! I practiced with these items on a few weekend trips in the months leading up to this and I will never travel without them again!!
Hints and additions notes about clothes: Roll clothes! Don’t take jeans! Everyone suggests dri-fit but I still added a few of my favorite cotton t-shirts. Yoga pants!! I pair of sneakers, Keens, Rainbows.We are not bringing dress-up clothes as it’s not cruising or luxury dining anywhere this first few months. I have a sundress. When we get to Europe I expect we’ll buy some new stuff.
I’m giving some more room for Laney who is 14 and fashion is still a major concern. I try to remember that I hiked Mont Blanc at 14 in a Duran Duran t-shirt so at least her style is better than mine. She gets a little more room to have some stuff that doesn’t make her look like a “hippy” and an opportunity to express herself a little more than the rest of us.
Luggage: We went round and round on this. I think we wore the people out at the old Phillip Galls (now The Benchmark) who get “thumbs up” for kindness and customer service!!! We finally decided on Osprey backpacks for each of us as carry-ons and one rolling duffle. (Lee and David got small Osprey duffles. Laney and I opted for a roomier Bric’s duffle). We still wake up with nightmares that these are too big or small but we have decided that it is okay to make mistakes and we’ll see how they work. David was all for carrying everything on his back through airports. None of the rest of us had any interest in this. I may regret this in South-east Asian train stations but for now I am very pleased!
Misc. Stuff: We have to bring antibiotics, anti-malaria pills, bug-resistant sleep sheets, home-schooling supplies, first-aid kits, cooling towels, hats, journals, iPads for kids, laptop for us, each kid gets a personal item from home, basic toiletry kits (Although most supplies we are not lugging around) .
Anything you really need you can buy around the world! They do sell things in other countries. So that is it. I included a few pictures of Lee’s bag which I packed this morning. It all fits with room to spare. People suggest we pack it and walk once around the block and we’ll end up repacking. So if you see us in Ashland Park please ignore us.